When evaluating any safety plan, it's makes good sense to check those program components that OSHA cites most often. We're lucky to have that information for the course, so let's take a look.
The following are some of the most common fire code and OSHA program violations found during inspections. Please be sure to walk through your facility and correct any conditions which fail to meet these requirements.
- Combustible material should not be stored in boiler rooms, mechanical rooms or electrical equipment rooms.
- Combustible materials should not be stored in exits or exit enclosures.
- Outside dumpsters should be kept at least 5 feet away from combustible walls, windows, doors, overhangs and lid should be closed.
- Combustible storage should be at least 2 feet below the ceiling or 18 inches below sprinkler heads.
- Compressed gas containers, cylinders and tanks should be secured to prevent falling.
- Storage is not allowed near electrical panels or in electrical equipment rooms.
- Exit ways and doors should not be visually or physically obstructed.
- Exit ways and doors should be unlocked when building is occupied.
- Emergency lighting systems should be functional.
- Fire assemblies should not be obstructed or otherwise impaired from their proper operation at any time.
- Main door should have a sign above door stating "THIS DOOR TO REMAIN UNLOCKED WHEN BUILDING IS OCCUPIED."
- Exit door should not be blocked.
- Exit signs should be illuminated as required.
- Items should not be stored in hallways.
- All fire lanes, hydrants, fire department connections (F.D.C.) or control valves should be clear and unobstructed.
- Sprinkler systems should be serviced in accordance with NFPA 25 - Standard for the inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. We recommend using professional services for testing and maintenance of sprinkler systems.
- Use properly trained persons to service, maintain, and test employee alarms according to NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
- Test the reliability and adequacy of non-supervised employee alarm systems every two months.
- Fire protection systems should be maintained in an operative condition at all times and repaired where defective.
- Do a visual check to ensure that employee alarm devices are not obstructed/installed in a manner that would prevent sound or light from reaching or entering the protected areas.
- Restore all employee alarm systems to normal operating condition as soon as possible after each test or alarm.
- Spare alarm devices and components must be readily available in sufficient quantities and locations for prompt restoration of the system.
- Fire hydrants and hose connections should not be blocked by items (i.e., idle pallets, etc.)
- Vehicles should not be parked in a marked fire lane.
- Make sure fire department connections are not missing protective caps.
- Make sure trash and debris are not lodged into piping and other locations.
Commercial Cooking Processes
- A Class K fire extinguisher should be mounted within 30 feet of commercial food equipment using vegetable or animal oils.
- Commercial cooking systems should be serviced semi-annually.
- Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts and other apparatus should be cleaned to bare metal.
- Cleaning should be recorded, and records should state the extent, time and date of cleaning.
- Records should be maintained on premises.
- The building address should be clearly visible from the street, minimum 4 inches in height with a contrasting background.
- Provide Knox box and keys for the box.
- Fire-resistance-rated construction should be maintained.
- Provide legible & permanent sign with occupant load posted in conspicuous location.
- Maintain or replace power supplies as often as necessary to ensure a fully operational condition.
- Provide a back-up means of alarm when systems are out of service, such as employee runners or telephones.
- Emergency lighting must be tested and records must be maintained on site according to OSHA 1910.35, Means of Egress which references NFPA 101, Section 7.9.3, Life Safety code, . The Life Safety Code requires both a monthly activation test, where the lights remain illuminated for a minimum of 30-seconds, and an annual test where the lights are activated for 1.5-hours to simulate a long term emergency event.
- A working space of not less than 30 inches wide (or width of equipment), 36 inches deep and 78 inches high should be provided in front of electrical service equipment. There should be no storage within this designated work space.
- Relocatable power strips should be polarized or grounded equipped with over-current protection and should be listed.
- Relocatable power strips should be directly connected to a permanently installed receptacle.
- Relocatable power strip cords and extension cords should not extend through walls, ceilings, floors, under doors or floor coverings, or be subject to environmental or physical damage.
- Extension cords and flexible cords should not be a substitute for permanent wiring.
- Electrical panels must not be obstructed.
- Electrical panel openings must be covered.
- Breakers that continue to trip should not be tied off.
- Power strips must be plugged directly into an outlet and NOT daisy-chained.
Portable Fire Extinguishers
- A minimum of one 2A-10:BC portable fire extinguisher should be provided within 75 feet of travel distance from anywhere in the business on each floor.
- Fire extinguishers should be inspected at least monthly.
- Fire extinguishers should not be obstructed and should be in a conspicuous location.
- When visually obstructed, an approved means should be provided to indicate location of fire extinguishers.
- Fire extinguisher should be mounted on the wall with a hanger.
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